CRM software solutions are an affordable way for businesses to stay connected with customers and increase productivity, but too many business owners do not understand how CRM can help.
Customer relationship management or CRM. It sounds like a business school buzzword that has little application in the real world. It sounds expensive. It sounds like something only a huge corporation might need. While these might be common perceptions of CRM solutions, the truth is that CRM is an affordable way for businesses of any size to keep connected with customers and increase sales. Your business might be able to survive in the 21st century without a CRM solution, but it will not thrive without one.
What does CRM do?
CRM is a method of coordinating and synchronizing information across multiple office systems so that data can be sorted, organized and shared easily. As a small business owner you might not think that you have multiple systems that need to be coordinated, but you do. The calendar you use to set appointments. The address book you use to organize customer contact information. The spreadsheet you use to track sales data. All of these disparate systems can be brought together under one interface with CRM, making it easier to sort and organize data. If you have multiple employees, all of them working on different projects or selling to different customers, CRM software helps the sales staff communicate their work to you and allows you to see real time data about employee productivity.
How much does CRM cost?
The price of CRM solutions has fallen rapidly with the advent of cloud computing. Because CRM firms no longer have to visit a workplace and install software on the servers and company network, the costs of implementing a system is very low compared to other business software applications. In addition, CRM firms offered tiered service, so that a small business can get access to the basic benefits of a CRM solution without having to pay for functions it will never use. Most CRM firms charge on per user, per month basis, with some solutions running as low as $10/user/month.
How can you be sure CRM will benefit your business?
A CRM solution is right for just about every business, but there may be some exceptions. If you are interested in learning more about the day-to-day functions of CRM software, most reputable CRM firms will offer companies the opportunity to test drive the CRM service for anywhere between fifteen days and a month to gauge whether or not the system will be useful for the company. During this time users are encouraged to explore the full functionality of the system and consult with the sales team at the CRM firm to decide which features and which level of service might be best for the company. There is no obligation to commit to a long-term contract with the CRM firm after the trial is over; simply tell the CRM firm that their software does not meet your needs.
CRM is an increasingly important part of modern business life, even for the smallest companies. In order to make sure that your company is not left behind and that your competitors do not receive a competitive edge, check into a CRM solution and see how CRM can help drive revenue and increase productivity.
Steve is a senior head in a Multi National Company – MNC which provides CRM software solutions all over the world. To know more about him visit his website.